Antimelancholische Kritik. Kants Theorie des Erhabenen und die Verengung des Vernunftgebrauchs zum unausbleiblichen Erfolg

Kant Studien 87 (1):42-68 (1996)
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"Limitation of the use of reason for sure success" is Kant's formula for a critical use of reason by means of which reason shall be able to raise itself above the decay of metaphysical systems. But in order to gain autonomy, such reason must suppress impotence and discord. Kant applied this antimelancholic aspect of his critical turn to his aesthetic theory of the sublime. Due to the pure intellectual feeling of the sublime possessed by anyone whose "feeling strikes the melancholic" the human intelligible character knows his power to transgress every sensory limit. The early romantics were the first to recognize a desideratum here and tried to perceive how the sublime could lift itself up to the beautiful. Melancholy becomes the condition of human creativity and poetry its therapy



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Hans Feger
Freie Universität Berlin

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